Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express, Release 2.x -- About Video Conferencing

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Main page: Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express, Release 2.x

Scheduled video conferencing allows supported video endpoints to fully participate in a meeting. Upon joining a video-enabled meeting, two-way video streams are activated and participants can see each other using voice-activated switching.

Scheduled video adds H.263 and H.264 AVC video compression support to the existing scheduled meeting architecture in Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express. Video ports are licensed and managed separately from the existing voice ports.

Supported video endpoints for scheduled conferencing include SCCP and H.323 devices including:

  • Cisco Unified Video Advantage
  • Cisco Unified IP Phone 7985 video phone
  • Cisco Unified Personal Communicator

Prerequisites for Video Conferencing

If you want to use your system primarily for scheduled video conferencing, install the following licenses:

In the unlicensed mode, your system comes equipped with only the default six voice, web, and video ports. The default web ports expire after a trial period, unless you install the webconf license.

Restrictions for Video Conferencing

The following restrictions apply to scheduled video conferencing:

  • The video parts of a meeting cannot be recorded.
  • In each video meeting, all participating endpoints are dynamically adjusted to use the same video bit rate. If participants join the meeting using different video bit rates, then Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express sends flow-control messages that instruct endpoints to lower their bit rates to match the lowest-speed endpoint.
  • All participating video endpoints are dynamically adjusted to use the codec that is configured in the video codec field for that specific meeting. All video endpoints in a meeting must use the same video codec. Video endpoints that do not support the configured codec cannot join the meeting with video.
  • Endpoints used for video conferencing with Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express must fully support flow control, and mid-call video escalation and de-escalation. For DTMF relay, they must support either H.245 user input indications for H.323 endpoints, and either RFC-2833, or KPML (RFC-4730) for SIP endpoints.
  • The Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express system does not support in-band DTMF digit detection. For ISDN endpoints to dial into the system through an ISDN gateway, you must configure any ISDN gateways so that they pass out-of-band (H.245) digits to Cisco Unified MeetingPlace Express. This can be done by going to the Settings page in the IPVC 3500 gateway application. Click Advanced and in the IP to ISDN Calls area, check Translate DTMF from out-of-band (H.245) to ISDN in-band (ISDN G.711 only). In the ISDN to IP Calls area, check Duplicate DTMF signal from ISDN side as out-of-band on IP side. Be sure that the Apply to field is set to Voice & Video calls.

Recommendations for Video Conferencing

The video stream of the active speaker is sent to all endpoints in the meeting, and the video stream of the previous speaker is sent to the current active speaker. When only one endpoint is in the meeting, the caller's video stream is reflected. The video mixer switches the video stream to the current active speaker, which corresponds to the loudest speaker as determined by the audio mixer. Therefore, users in a video call may experience poor or confusing video switching results if any participating endpoints generate loud background noises, which can result in incorrect speaker selection.

Provide the following recommendations to end users that may participate in video calls:

  • Mute your phone when not speaking.
  • Do not use a speakerphone, which may generate echoes, ringing sounds, or audio feedback.
  • If you use a microphone that is built into your video camera, then keep the camera away from fans, vents, and other sources of noise.
  • For softphones, such as Cisco Unified Personal Communicator with a Cisco VT Camera or Cisco IP Communicator with Cisco Unified Video Advantage:
    • Do not use the microphone that is built into your computer. These microphones tend to pick up a lot of background noise.
    • We highly recommend that you use a quality headset that is equipped with a microphone.
    • Whenever multiple microphones are available, make sure that your computer and video endpoint are configured to use the desired microphone.
For example, suppose that you use Cisco Unified Personal Communicator with a Cisco VT Camera on a Windows XP system, and that you have a headset that is equipped with a microphone. To make sure that your system is configured to use the headset microphone, choose Start > Control Panel > Sounds and Audio Devices. Then click the Audio tab, and make sure that your headset is selected as the sound recording device.
See the documentation for your specific endpoint product to optimize audio settings and resolve audio problems.

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